Aside from one stinging disqualification, the Hartley High School girls track and field team is right on track after winning the Division II district 2 meet which concluded last Saturday at Whetstone.

Aside from one stinging disqualification, the Hartley High School girls track and field team is right on track after winning the Division II district 2 meet which concluded last Saturday at Whetstone.

The Hawks advanced 11 athletes to the regional today and Saturday at Welcome Stadium in Dayton. However, the Hawks were disqualified during the preliminaries in the 800-meter relay, which was one of the fastest in the area and a potential contender for the state title.

"We finally got some good weather, and all conditions are pushing us in the right direction," coach Richard Jones said. "So far we've only had one hiccup (the 800 relay). But the girls recovered from that pretty well in terms of their mental focus."

The girls scored 118 points, beating out a surprising effort from Sparta Highland (106). The boys team advanced seven athletes to regional and finished fourth at district with 62 points as Eastmoor won (129.28).

Winning events for the girls were sophomore Chesna Sykes in the 100 (12.48 seconds), freshman Aisha Cavin in the 200 (25.27), Paige Coleman in the 300 hurdles (47.90) and Taisha Ferguson in the 800 (2:23.90). The Hawks also cruised in the 400 relay (49.75) and the 1,600 relay (4:05.69).

Other regional qualifiers were Kelsey Shonk in discus (112-0, second), CharAnna Dixon in the 100 (13.00, fourth), Ashlee Hoffman in the 200 (25.67, second), Coleman in the 100 hurdles (16.15, second), Maya Pedersen in both the long jump (15 feet, 7 1/2 inches, third) and the 400 (1:00.06, second) and Stephanie Negron in the 400 (61.64, fourth).

For the boys, Rufus Walls had the only district title, winning the 200 in 22.1. Walls edged out Isaiah Pead of Eastmoor (22.19), and he said the high level of competition should only help him in the coming weeks.

"It sure does help," Walls said. "Because if you can run consistently fast, that's the key to success in the postseason."

Walls also qualified for the regional as part of the 800 relay, which was fourth (1:33.44). Other regional qualifiers were Nathan Fox in the 110 hurdles (16.19, fourth), Geoffrey Whiteside in both the 100 (11.51, second) and the long jump (20-9 3/4, second), Dominic Colvin in the 400 (51.74, third) and Noah Key in the long jump (19-2 1/2, fourth).

•For a second consecutive year, errors and stranded base runners were the downfall for the baseball team as it lost another postseason thriller to Heath.

Heath scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning and held off a two-out rally from Hartley in the top of the seventh to hold on for a 5-3 win at Dublin Coffman on May 22.

Coach Morgan Assmann was well aware of the parallels to last season's 9-8, 11-inning loss to Heath in a district semifinal.

"It was a carbon copy," Assmann said. "We're a hit away from beating Heath again. Last year, 11 innings, we're a hit away. Tonight, we have the bases loaded, two outs, a hit away."

The Hawks finished 20-7 overall. In the CCL, they were second at 7-3, behind DeSales (10-0) and ahead of Watterson (5-5), St. Charles (3-7), Worthington Christian (3-7) and Ready (2-8).

In the top of the seventh, Kyle Barr drew a two-out walk from Heath starter Alex VanDine. Colt Stafford singled to right field and Akil Cavin walked to load the bases. Adam Greger then laced a line drive on a 1-2 pitch from VanDine, but shortstop Jordan Mayer hardly had to move to make the catch.

Pat Stone pitched all seven innings for Hartley, allowing one earned run on eight hits.

Hartley took a 3-0 lead in the first, but from that point on, VanDine settled in and allowed just four hits. Hartley had its chances, but stranded nine runners.

The Hawks will lose seven seniors, including most of the meat of its lineup. Barr was the top pitcher the past two seasons and also started at shortstop and hit third. Stafford is a three-year starter at first base and hit in the middle of the lineup, as did Cavin, the starting center fielder the last three seasons. All three are four-year letterwinners.

The rest of the infield starters also were seniors in Greger (3B) and John Marchi (2B). Jeff Daley started in left field. The Hawks will also lose reserve Jared Quinn, who saw some action on the mound this season.

Among the top players expected back are Stone, who played shortstop when not on the mound, and junior Tim Heinmiller, who started at catcher. Other expected returnees include junior Jacob Schwartz and sophomores Justin Momeyer, Ben Currie and Steve Williams.

•The softball team will have its work cut out to replace a deep and talented senior class, but coach Meghan Rowlands said she thinks the program is headed in the direction she wants after her first season.

"As far as establishing goals and establishing a mentality, I feel like these girls were all on board," Rowlands said. "It was an absolute team effort. We grew and got better as the season progressed. I really thought we were going to make a run in the tournament."

The Hawks played well in their two Division II district tournament games but ran up against the eventual district champion, Granville, in a district semifinal, losing 5-3. The Hawks, who had a first-round bye, beat Licking Heights 9-3 in the second round May 15 to set up a meeting with the district's top seed.

"They played almost flawlessly (against Granville)," Rowlands said. "They came out doing even more than I asked them to do. They came out so fired up, because it meant so much to them."

Hartley finished 11-16 overall and tied for DeSales third in the CCL at 3-5 as Ready and Watterson tied for the title at 7-1. Worthington Christian was fifth at 0-8.

The Hawks will lose seven seniors, including two who will continue their careers in college. Katie Rupp, who will play at Muskingum, was a two-year starter at shortstop and Kelly Trace, who will play at Gannon, started at first base this season.

The Hawks also will lose one of their two top pitchers in Bridget Mahler. Starting outfielders Angela Woodward and Heather Lindsay, as well as Olivia Setzer (OF) and Veronica Hay (OF/3B), were also seniors on the roster.

Five letterwinners are expected to return, including pitcher Nicole Moziejko and catcher Angela Lanza, both sophomores. Sophomore Kayla Woodward also saw plenty of action at catcher, and juniors Christina Heinmiller and Samantha Hochuli both played regularly in the outfield.